A month into back to school season and I am still acting like the Dad in the Staples commercial; the reality of school releasing parents of the Sisyphus like burden of keeping their children entertained and trying to know where they are during the day is a joy. This alone is enough to have me doing the snoopy dance, but for a select group of us parents, autumn lands the bonus of Football that is what pushes euphoria toward orgasmic at least for me. The joy comes when I have the pleasure of prying my spouse and children off my teats for the last three months. No more, “What are we going to do, *Okaasan?” Or “Can we do this?” No more, “Honey, is this okay?” Or, “Honey, can we? Or honey whatever! In the coming days there will be hours if not days that the word honey or Okaasan is but an afterthought carried by a whisper spoken into a headwind. This is true as long as there is beer, soda and snacks. I’m not completely heartless; once they are off my teats they have to eat something.
My husband watches pro and college football, my son plays and watches and my daughter cheers and watches. The anchor of the Ryerson household shifts from me to football. The grill is glowing Friday, Saturday, Sunday often Monday and sometimes-even Thursday. To secure my freedom, once long I ago, I turned my husband’s beloved beer brauts into charcoal cigars. So horrified at the tragedy, he banned me from operating his Weber combination charcoal/propane grill. So now as the bands march and the brauts grill, Mom gets to do whatever the hell she wants. This is my time to sneak out to Best Buy and purchase last season’s episodes of “Sarah Conner Chronicles” or whatever sci-fi compendium I can mainline. Oh please, winter nights get dark early so I can order a pizza for the brood and leave them to froth in front of the television while I read and ponder worlds of impossible beauty or tragedy. I hoard minutes into hours and lounge in the decadence of me time, other than making an appearance at each quarter for my husband’s prerequisite good luck rub of my fanny (only for the Bears games). It seems my ass is right about 68% of the time, perhaps I should give up my career and haul my ass to Vegas. The idea of crowds of men lined up to pat my ass is both appealing and appalling, fantasy or nightmare you be the judge.
This time of year I refuse to be flustered by the back to school assault of my children, I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again I’m a bad, bad mom. During his first game my son got up from a tackle hobbling, when this happened a few years ago I was dialing for the ambulance before he got to the sideline. Now my first utterance is he will be able to go back in won’t he? Between school and football he is very busy, often so busy that he can’t pay as much attention to various nefarious teenage tarts that typically orbit around him as though he was the sun. Who knew school, football and a nosy mom was a form of contraception?
My daughter is busy with cheerleading. When I was in school this was not the full time career it now is. We would practice and go home. I guess we didn’t have school spirit. My daughter’s squad not only does football games but they do appearances and charity events. Of course she is running around twice as much as I was in that damn mini skirt, the good thing about that is when my husband knows she wearing it, he’s like McGruff the Crime Dog. Last week my daughter said, “Dad please stop sweatin me!”
You can se why this is my time. The television networks have an offering of new and returning sci-fi dramas. I have the summer blockbuster hits and misses to catch up on and a stack of books calling my name. Sorry Walmart Mom but this Okaasan is carving out some me time cause football only lasts until February and I have a lot of catching up to do. With any luck the Bears will make the post season but not the Super Bowl. A few years ago when they went I had to sleep on my stomach from all the prognostication my ass was doing.
*Okaasan is polite for Mom, immediate family often say Kasan.
Camile Ryerson is our regular contributing writer. Her column appears every Wednesday. Read her views on politics, world affairs, pop culture, family and what she's reading. Her favorite genre is sci-fi.